Thursday, May 15, 2008

REVIEW: Ole Rays Classic Gold

Ole Ray’s Classic Gold Barbecue & Cooking Sauce

Ole Ray’s Sauces

Quality **** (4 out of 5)
Viscosity **** (4 out of 5)
Aroma *** (3.5 out of 5)
Appearance *** (4 out of 5)
Packaging **** (4 out of 5)

This sauce was used on pulled pork, smoked bologna and smoked pastrami.

As with most of Ole Ray’s sauces, the Classic Gold comes with an impressive resume. You can view their array of awards on their website (see above) by clicking on the Awards/News tabs.

This sauce comes in a 12oz glass bottle. The bottle has a nice heft to it. You may see reference to the quality of the glass in a number of our reviews. In general there are three categories of sauce bottles. There is the near ubiquitous plastic bottle where quality variance in the plastic is negligible. There is the ‘step up’ bottle that is glass as opposed to plastic, but is made of thin and cheap glass. The bottles employed by Ole Ray’s belong in the third category of glass that is well made and not designed to cut corners.

The labeling on the bottle is black with gold lettering, nicely matching the color of the sauce itself. I’m relatively sure that it wasn’t intentional, but there are black specks (pepper?) in the sauce; so the color schemes match perfectly. Incidental, but a nice touch. The sauce itself is a rich, golden color. It’s a tad darker than a standard mustard sauce, but is still visually appealing.

The aroma offers the user traits of both the sweetness in the sauce and the mustard. The ‘mustardy’ profile is less overpowering than in many mustard sauces. The aroma is slightly less powerful than the taste.

This is a mild sauce, but that might be misleading. The sauce offers a very distinct flavor. Many sauces labeled as ‘mild’ are easily overpowered by the flavors of what they are being put on or of other ingredients. Although the sauce is certainly mild, that doesn’t mean that they have sacrificed taste or flavor.

I would use it sparingly, especially on chicken. When compared to a vinegar based sauce or a traditional Kansas City sauce, less is more with Ole Ray’s Golden Classic. You don’t need to slather (used as an descriptor, not a noun) your meat with this sauce to enjoy it.

It is easy to see how and why Ole Ray’s Golden Classic sauce has won the accolades that are displayed on their website. This is a quality sauce that would be enjoyed by any fan of sauces with a mustard base.

SIDE NOTE: I’m cooking up some BBQ for a party later this month. We are expecting over a hundred guests. I’m going to be offering an array of sauces and seeing which sauce is the most popular with the guests. I’ll be presenting an unofficial ‘Peoples Choice’ award based on their preferences.

I’m helping to organize a small contest here on Long Island in June and I’m going to enlist the aid of a dozen or so fellow Certified BBQ Judges to run a ‘heads up’ bracketed sauce competition. I’ll be entering this sauce in both of these events and I’ll report back.


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